Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study

24 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2004

See all articles by David G. Blanchflower

David G. Blanchflower

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Stirling - Department of Economics

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

The links between income, sexual behavior and reported happiness are studied using recent data on a sample of 16,000 adult Americans. The paper finds that sexual activity enters strongly positively in happiness equations. Higher income does not buy more sex or more sexual partners. Married people have more sex than those who are single, divorced, widowed or separated. The happiness-maximizing number of sexual partners in the previous year is calculated to be 1. Highly educated females tend to have fewer sexual partners. Homosexuality has no statistically significant effect on happiness.

Suggested Citation

Blanchflower, David G. and Oswald, Andrew J., Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 106, No. 3, pp. 393-415, September 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=623334

David G. Blanchflower (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

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Andrew J. Oswald

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